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Huawei and Spark unveil world-first 5G trial network

22 Nov 2018

Huawei New Zealand and Spark have unveiled another world-first with the switching-on of a live multi-vendor 5G trial network built to the full 3GPP Release 15 global industry standard at Spark’s 5G Lab in Auckland.

The live multi-vendor 5G trial network demonstrates the technical implementation of access and core separation, where the Huawei 5G NR (New Radio on both the C-band and mmWave) and 4G Radio Access Network are deployed using dedicated hardware connected to the Cisco EPC (Evolved Packet Core) with each component fully isolated.

This is the first time a live multi-vendor 5G trial network has fully reached the global benchmark set in Release 15 by 3GPP, the global 5G industry standard authority. 

Spark with its vendor partners has already achieved the milestone of the world’s first 5G mmWave call through this network.

Huawei New Zealand Deputy Managing Director, Andrew Bowater, said the live trial brings the industry’s theoretical network architecture to life and shows the capability to quickly roll out a 5G network by evolving existing cellular network infrastructure.

Bowater says, “The Auckland live multi-vendor 5G trial emphatically proves it is possible to retain the critical access-core network separation, which enables operators such as Spark to operate in a multi-vendor network environment and retains the ability of governments to regulate the vendor technology mix while maintaining a competitive market.

“This is the fourth year of Huawei’s strategic partnership with Spark, and we are proud to have brought this multi-vendor 5G trial alive right here in Auckland."

“The live trial is designed in full accordance with the 3GPP Release 15 industry standards and proves the ability of existing networks to evolve from 4G to 5G smoothly."

Spark’s Technology Director Mark Beder says that the company is excited to be leading the 5G race in New Zealand.

“For Spark, 5G will drive the next evolution of our business and we are motivated to push the boundaries of this new technology. 

“It will deliver significantly faster speeds and more data capacity than previous generations of mobile technology and will support massive connectivity.”

“The possibilities are endless, and we intend to make sure that Spark plays a key role in enabling this 5G journey for all of New Zealand,” said Beder.

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